Nadine Pedersen, a teenager of type 1 diabetes, spoke at the CBC's The Early Edition event by breaking stereotypes around the disease and ending sugary jokes.
I was 13 years old, my son, Hudson, who lives in Type 1 diabetes, on school on Wednesday morning when we hear from CBC Radio how Diwal sweets cause diabetes.
Hudson and I watched each other and we exclaimed because such comments are so common and they are so basic.
It's a common mistake, like when someone is doing an unknowing joke. It just makes you sigh.– Hudson Carpenter
Hudson has been diagnosed with eight-year-old type 1 diabetes, and we have met people who assume that his health is due to not eating well.
In fact, type 1 diabetes is not diet-related. It is an incurable, life-threatening, super-challenging autoimmune disease.
People develop type 1 diabetes after their immune system attacks and kills insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Without insulin, people die because their bodies can not change their food into energy.
Living with Type 1
In order to survive, Hudson needs to hide his fingers and do blood tests several times a day.
He is in contact with the insulin pump 24 hours a day and has a continuous glucose meter attached to his hand.
Hudson needs to calculate carbohydrates in each individual case he sets in his mouth to give himself the correct dose of insulin.
We are often in the middle of the night trying to prevent low blood sugar or high blood sugar – each of which can be deadly.
It's scary because you may fall asleep and never wake up, and it's every night.– Hudson Carpenter
In one of the social media accounts that I'm going to raise awareness of diabetes, I sometimes send pictures of blue candles.
These candles mean the passing of dead children of diabetes. Sometimes these children die from low blood sugar in the middle of the night. At other times it is because the symptoms of type 1 diabetes are wrongly diagnosed as influenza.
These kids end up in coma and never come out.
As you will, these stories are not that fun.
People make diabetics jokes as reflexes, without really thinking what they say.
They do not understand that in making these scams they are constantly unreliable about a really complicated and difficult illness.
Some people feel "OK" to screw diabetes because they associate type 2 diabetes with overweight people and fat-shame is one of the last areas where people seem to think it's acceptable to ruin and spoil others.
This is of course also unacceptable. It is also inaccurate – people can be thin and active and further develop type 2 diabetes.
It's a good time to overcome stereotypes around diabetes.
Unquestionable comments and jokes about diabetes are very common in our society. When you listen to them, they will notice them.
Hudson and I have them all the time.
With early-stage files